Minister canvasses syringe importation ban

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The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa, has called for a total ban on the importation of needles and syringes to encourage local production and help to grow the nation’s economy.

Alausa stated this during his visit to the Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited Syringe factory in Ogun State, according to a statement on Sunday signed by the Resident Media Consultant of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Sayo Akintola.

Alausa, according to the statement, visited the factory with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzo-Anite; the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, among others.

The minister reaffirmed the determination of the Federal Government to provide the necessary support to the local manufacturing sector to enhance its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

He affirmed that the restructuring of syringe and needle production in Nigeria aimed to guarantee the availability of high-quality products manufactured by Nigerians to generate lucrative employment opportunities for Nigerians.

The minister implored NAFDAC to ensure that unbridled importation of syringes did not hamper the development of the local industry through unhealthy competition.

“Don’t give them any more authorisation to import. We need to protect the local industry through the backward integration model aimed at enhancing the local capacity,’’ he said.

On her part, the NAFDAC DG reiterated the need for a holistic approach by relevant agencies of government to solve the problem of substandard falsified medical devices coming into the country through the ports.

According to her, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has also been directed to patronise local manufacturers of syringes to provide employment opportunities for Nigerians through the expansion of operations of the Nigeria manufacturing companies.

Adeyeye said the NPHCDA was given the last import order in December 2023.

“However, for the local manufacturers, we are doing hand-holding with our syringe companies. Hand-holding, means we are working with them by correcting whatever we find wrong or inappropriate in their operations,” she said.

On his part, the Chairman of Mikano International, the parent company of Afrimedical Manufacturing and Supplies Limited, Mr Mofid Karameh, said the company was poised to revolutionise the landscape with its aim to restore Nigeria as the premier hub in Africa.

The Managing Director of Afrimedical, Mr Akin Oyediran, also emphasised the company’s plans to manufacture high-quality syringes not only for Nigeria but also for some neighbouring countries.

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